The Open: Sir Nick Faldo plays down suggestions of a rift with Rory McIlroy
Last Updated: 19/07/13 3:46pm
Sir Nick Faldo: Had urged McIlroy to 'concentrate on golf'
Sir Nick Faldo has dismissed speculation that he is embroiled in a row with Rory McIlroy, insisting he is like a "big grandad" to the world No 2.
In the build-up to the Open Championship at Muirfield, three-time champion Faldo suggested that a lack of practice was to blame for McIlroy's poor form this season.
Faldo suggested McIlroy needed to "concentrate on golf, nothing else" to regain his form, but the Northern Irishman hit back by claiming that "a few guys have forgotten how hard you have to work and how tough this game is."
"I'm friends with Rory - don't write it any other way. I've known him since he's 12."
Faldo on McIlroy
But after both opened with eight-over 79s at Muirfield, Faldo said: "I'm friends with Rory - don't write it any other way. I've known him since he's 12. He's a big part of my Faldo Series.
"I'm like big granddad, here, saying exactly those things. Just give it your full attention when you want to play golf.
"When you want to disappear and have a family and do other things, but don't add anymore... get me? I'm trying to give him a little caring, loving help here."
"When you're a golfer, concentrate on your golf and then you have your charity. Just keep it minimal. I'm speaking from experience. Don't go off into the business world, because he's got tons of time for that.
"If you're going to retire somewhere in your 40s, who knows with 10 majors, you'll be a pretty darned good businessman for the next 50 years of your life. That's what I'm trying to say."